Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Game with the new Dark Angels

I was able to get my first game in with the Dark Angels codex last night. And let me say I had a blast. So far the new codex is a breath of fresh air! More after the break.

First thing first is, the list I took was really bad. I mean REALLY bad. Here it is

1850 Dark Angels

Belial with Storm Bolter and Sword of Silence

Terminator Armor:

Troop 1:
Deathwing Terminator Squad:
5 additional Terminators:
Plasma Cannon:
Assault Cannon:
Chain Fist:

Troop 2:
Tactical Squad:
Missile Launcher:
Flakk missiles:

Elite 1:
Deathwing Knights x5:
5 additional Deathwing Knights:
Perfidious Relic of the Unforgiven:

Fast Attack 1:
Ravenwing Black Knights:
3 additional Ravenwing Black Knights:
Ravenwing Grenade launchers x2:
Huntmaster with melta bombs:

Fast Attack 2:
Nephilim Jetfighter:
Avenger Mega Bolter:

Heavy 1:
Storm Bolter:

I know it's bad, but I just wanted to try some things out, mainly the Deathwing Knights and Terminators. My thoughts on the Knights were, lets try 10 now, because I know this won't be a practical choice (unless I get in an Apocalypse game) ever again. And with the Terminator Squad, I just wanted to feel what it was like taking a 10 man squad of those again. I was also intrigued to see how well the Ravenwing Black Knights would do, since they did so well in the White Dwarf Battle Report.

My friend I was playing against played with Imperial Guard allied with Space Wolves. Here is a general list, I don't remember too many specifics

Primaris Psyker
Njal Stormcaller

50+ Imperial Guard blob squad with 7-8 power axes
Heavy Weapons team, with 3 lascannons
Veterans with Demo Charge x2
Infantry Squad with Chimera and Flamers/Heavy Flamers
Platoon Command Squad with Chimera and some Heavy Flamers
10 Grey Hunters with 2 Plasma Guns

Tech Priest with 5 Servators with Multi-Meltas (I'm not sure if this is an Elite or not, I also don't think all the Servators had multi-meltas, but 3-4 did)

Fast Attack:
2 Valkyries that were not in a squadron.

The Game

I was going to take pictures but since my friend and I were proxying so many things, I decided not too. That and we started about 30 minutes late, he couldn't find one of his Valkyries. 

Pre-Game Setup

The board was set up with a large ruin setup in the middle, since my terrain doesn't have a base, it wasn't considered area terrain. Each 2'x2' square of the board had some sort of hill in it. I realized at that point I probably should start putting together more of the Games Workshop Ruins that I have. Because my terrain selection is abysmal. We rolled up 4 total objectives. I put them both in my deployment zone, one on the right flank, behind a hill, and the other one in the middle, on a hill. My opponent put both in his deployment, one on his right flank and one on his left flank, both of his objectives were located on top of hills.

We roll for the battlefield and get Dawn of War. The scenario was "Big Guns Never Tire." I stuck with Belial's Warlord Trait and he got the Warlord Trait that gave his warlord's unit +1 cover save in ruins. After this I nominated all the models in Terminator Armor to do a Deathwing Assault. I chose Belial and the Knights to come in Turn 1, while the Librarian and Terminator Squad will arrive Turn 2. 


We rolled for deployment and I won. I put my Whirlwind on my right flank's objective and then put the Tactical Squad on my middle objective. My Ravenwing Knights deployed in between the Tactical Squad and Whirlwind. While in Reserves Belial joined the Deathwing Knights and the Librarian joined the Deathwing Terminators. My opponent deployed his blob squad in the middle of his deployment zone, putting Njal and his Primaris in there as well. The Heavy Weapons Team was on the hill holding his right flank objective. He put the Grey Hunters right behind the hill, to help support the Heavy Weapons Team. Meanwhile the Chimeras deployed in his left flank with the Tech Priest and Servators behind it. His reasoning was he was scared of my deep strike, which is appropriate. After that I scout re-deployed the Ravenwing Knights about 10 inches forward. Luckily my opponent didn't steal the initiative,

Turn 1

Belial and the Deathwing Knights precise deep strike behind the Grey Hunters. The Ravenwing Knights move up 12" towards the blob squad. Belial shot at the Grey Hunters hoping to use his 5+ Precision Shot to get some wounds on plasma guns. The Whirlwind shot at the blob squad sniping out one of the many Commissars in the squad. The Ravenwing Knights shot their 4 Plasma Talons into the Blob Squad as well, causing a few troopers to die. Then they did their Stasis and Rad grenades on them. After that I realized I should do the Ravenwing Knights shots first, so all the other squads shooting at them could get to utilize their lower toughness. Then the Tactical Squad shot a frag missile into the Blob Squad getting a few kills as well. Assaults didn't work as planned, I was hoping to be able to charge in there with the Ravenwing Knights, cause a few wounds and then use Hit and Run to get out. That, apparently, wasn't a smart idea. I rolled a 3 for my charge and there I was stuck in the open. 

My opponent moved his Chimeras up into flamer range on the Ravenwing Knights, while keeping his Tech Priest and Servators behind the Chimeras. He also moved the Blob Squad up to fire on the Ravenwing Knights. He moved the Grey Hunters away from the Deathwing Knights. He then proceeded to shoot the Ravenwing Knights with his Pistols from the Blob Squad, so he could charge them. The Chimeras did a number of wounds with it's flamers, the Ravenwing Knights only losing one. Then the Multi Meltas did a wound and I Jinked it (Skilled Rider makes their Jink save a 4+, it's really awesome!). The Heavy Weapons Team did a Hull Point onto the Whirlwind. The Blob Squad then charged the Ravenwing Knights, the Knights managed to kill a few from overwatch. The Blob Squad then ate the Ravenwing Knights.

Turn 2

The Librarian and Deathwing Terminator Squad Deep Strike closer to the middle of the board (so they do not take advantage of Belial's Teleport Homer). The Nephilim comes on as well and moves straight towards the Blob Squad. Belial and Deathwing Knights move towards the Heavy Weapons Team. Other than Belial I shoot everything I have at the Blob Squad, note I did try to Split Fire the Plasma Cannon but managed to roll an 11 when I needed a 10 on my Leadership Test. After my shooting the Blob Squad is at 2/3 strength. The Deathwing Knights and Belial charge the Heavy Weapons Team, completely eradicating it.

One of his Valkyries loaded with a Veteran Squad arrives on the board and moves right towards my Whirlwind. He moves the blob squad closer to the Deathwing Units. The Grey Hunters move and then Run to his left flank objective. The Chimeras and Tech Priest with Servators move closer to my Marines on the objective. He shoots all he can at the Deathwing Terminators. I believe I lost one to Lasguns. He shoots at my Whirlwind causing another Hull Point. The Tech Priest Servators take Snap Shots at the Marines, failing to hit. 

Turn 3

The Librarian tries to cast Prescience, but Njal says no. The Deathwing Knights try to get off the hill they are on and fail epically, rolling double ones. The Deathwing Terminator squad moves a little farther back so while they are in charge range, he will need an 8+. The Marines stay put as does the whirlwind.  The Nephilim moves another 18" at the Blob Squad. I once again shoot everything at the Blob Squad, even using Belial's Storm Bolter instead of running. Though honestly I was hoping to get a 5+ Precise Shot, but of course that didn't happen. I split fire the Deathwing Plasma Cannon into the Grey Hunters and cause 3-4 wounds. The Blob Squad is now at about 1/3 strength.

His second Valkyrie comes on and also heads to the Whirlwind. He puts the first Valkyrie into hover mode and deploys the Veterans, they now contest my Whirlwind's objective. The Chimeras with Tech Priest following behind them continues to move to my Marines. The Blob Squad moves closer to the Deathwing Terminators. The Grey Hunters continue their move/run to the other objective. The Blob Squad shoots at the Deathwing Terminators causing a few wounds but they are saved. The Tech Priest continues to fire Snap Shot Multi Meltas into the Marines but continues to miss. The Valkyries open fire on the Whirlwind and wrecks it.

Turn 4

The Librarian was able to cast Prescience this turn. Belial and the Deathwing Knights continue to fail horrible to get out of difficult terrain. The Marines continue to stay put. I manage to maneuver the Nephilim to be able to shoot at the Blob Squad again. Once again, all my shooting is devoted to the blob squad. It is at this point where the squad is no longer that scary, being at about 25% of what it was originally. I then realize I've completed ignored his Chimeras. They will be my doom. I did run Belial and the Knights to try and catch up to the Grey Hunters, rolling a one again.

The Valkyries go into Hover Mode, the first one stays put while the second moves 12 to get into range of the Marines. The Chimeras continue to move to the Marines, this time arriving at the base of the hill, he managed to immobilize one due to a Dangerous Terrain check. The Grey Hunters make it to the other objective this time and hide behind the hill it is on. The Blob Squad moves up into assault range of the Deathwing Terminators. The Chimeras and squad inside flame the Marines, killing one. The Tech Priest Servators continue to Snap Fire Multi Meltas and miss. The Valkyries shoot into the Marines, killing the Missile Launcher Marine. I believe I have two Marines remaining  The Terminators overwatched on the Blob Squad, and because of Prescience, managed to get a few wounds. I lose a terminator because of Power Axes, meanwhile he looses all but a Trooper and Njal. Needless to say they break and run, I get a d6 consolidation and try to spread out on the Objective.

Turn 5

I'm suprised but Prescience is able to cast again this turn. Belial and the Deathwing Knights move/run towards the Grey Hunters on the other side of the board. They are about halfway through my opponents deployment zone. The Deathwing Terminators continue to spread out. The Marines move back a little. The Nephilim moves so it can shoot onto the Chimeras next turn. It does nothing in the shooting phase because it has no targets. The Deathwing Terminators shoot their plasma cannon at the Chimeras, they manage to blow up the non-immobilized one. Only two Troopers remain from the exploded Chimera. The Marines shoot at the two causing no wounds.

The Blob regroups (I totally forgot about Split Fire and Njal's ATSKNF, otherwise I would of shot the Plasma Cannon on the Chimeras and then unloaded everything else on Njal) and moves towards the Deathwing Knights. The Immobilized Chimera unloads it's troops. The Valkyries continue to hover, the farther back one moves up closer to my middle objective. The Immobilized Chimera and all the troopers unload on my two remaining Marines. They die a Hero's Death, fiery. The Valkyries have LOS to my Nephilim, causing a few glancing and penetrating hits. I manage to Evasive Maneuvers a few of them only causing one Hull Point and a Crew Shaken.

Turn 6

I somehow cast Prescience again. Belial and the Deathwing Knights still try to run to the Grey Hunters, at this point I figure it is fruitless but whatever I'm determined to get those Son's of Russ! The Deathwing Terminators proceeded to do a conga line so they can get the assault cannon into firing distance of the Troopers on my middle objective. The Nephilim moves to shoot at the same Troopers. I manage to get rid of the remaining two troopers with the assault cannon. I split fire the Plasma Cannon onto the Tech Priest and Servators causing 4 Servators to die. The Nephilim gets a few hits on the other squad, but they make their cover. 

The Valkyries continue their hover. The remaining Troopers move within 3" of my middle objective. Njal and group continues their chase over to the Deathwing Knights. The Valkyries shoot at the Nephilim causing him to gain another Hull Point and another Crew Shaken.

Turn 7

The Lion smiles on me this day, for I was able to cast Prescience again. So during all this time Belial and the Deathwing Knights are having to make difficult terrain checks because of Njal, and I have been rollling horribly. I don't make it anywhere close to the Grey Hunters, a mark on my honor. The Deathwing Terminator conga line extends. The Nephilim moves 36" to the Grey Hunters in the corner. It gets a few wounds on them, but they make all their saves. That mark is now a stain. The Deathwing Terminators Split Fire the Plasma Cannon onto Njal, causing one wound. The Assault Cannon kills another few troopers, but not enough for him to make a moral check. I grow tired of Njal and charge the Deathwing Terminator Squad into him. I win combat and I move back onto the objective. At this point my opponent reveals this is the first time ever someone has killed his Njal. I tell him if I have anything to do with it, it shall not be his last.

He moves the remaining Chimera Troopers onto the objective, and moves the Valkyries to chase the Nephilim. They bring the old girl down, the crash only missing the Deathwing Knights by an inch. He ends his turn.

The Results

Primary Objectives:
Imperial Guard - 3
Dark Angels - 1

Secondary Objectives:
Imperial Guard- First Blood, Line Breaker
Dark Angels - Slay the Warlord, Line Breaker

Imperial Guard - 11
Dark Angels - 5

Final Thoughts

It was hard fought, but even though he only had a handful of Guardsmen left, he won because he was more mobile than my self. That and I poured EVERYTHING I had into that Blob Squad. Because of that it let him move his Chimeras into my deployment and clear my objectives. I went in realizing that 5 marines on an objective isn't enough, but hey this game wasn't about winning. It was about trying out some new stuff.

In the end I really liked all the new stuff I tried, even though I didn't really get a chance to use them to their full potential. In retrospect I should of declared all my Deathwing Assaults on Turn one, had the Deathwing Knights go where they did and then put the Deathwing Terminators with the Black Knights. Then clamp down on the Blob Squad. I was planning on doing something similar anyway, but the Black Knights were gone by the time the Terminator Squad came down. I guess that's why you have to declare what turn they are coming down before deployment.

I see my self running the Deathwing Knights all the time. Though next time instead of Belial going with them, I would put them in a Land Raider variant and just have them zoom up the board. I would then put Belial in the Terminator Squad to precise deep strike where I really need a huge application of fire power. Which brings me onto Vengeful Strike and the 95 point Buff Bot Librarian. That combo is sickening. It makes me not want to take any TH/SS or Lightning Claws so I can use Vengeful Strike to it's fullest. It upsets me that I'm thinking this way, because I've always loved mixed squads. So before I make any final decisions I'm going to have to play around with it.

The Nephilim did as well as I expected it would with the Avenger Mega Bolter. Even though it is supposed to be our Anti-Air flyer, it still put the hurt on the ground units. The only downside was when I tried thinking about going after his Valkyries, I realized I could only glance them. Next time I know I'm going up against flyers I'm going to try it with the Twin Linked Lascannon. Though I think next game I'm going to try the Dark Talon. Even though the Black Knights died really quickly, I really like the idea of them. I want to play more with them, it has been ages since I played with bikers, so I'm not very good with using them.

And like normal, the Whirlwind was a solid choice. The ability to snipe out Characters because of the barrage rule is priceless. I was surprised that they LOWERED the price on this guy, it probably shouldn't haven been lowered. I feel the Whirlwind in the previous codex was already at a great price point.

Well that's it for now, I've got a game this Saturday against my Chaos playing friend. I need to tweak this list a little bit. Hopefully I'll do better, and next time I'll take some pictures!

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